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LitCharts Reviews

Updated Apr 18, 2021

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4.2
68%
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  1. 5.0
    Former Contractor

    Exciting projects, smart colleagues

    Apr 18, 2021 - Freelance Editor in Cleveland, OH
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Flexibility with writing projects, thorough feedback from editors

    Cons

    While some work was per hour, other work was a lump sum per project and did not equate to the same pay level.

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  2. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Great Product and Great people

    Mar 10, 2021 - Full Stack Web Developer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Great work life balance, fully remote - Leadership is transparent, easy to access and communicate with, is passionate about the product, constantly seeks feedback and acts on it - LitCharts is the best literature/poetry guide product out there and it's only getting better - Coworkers are helpful and easy to work with

    Cons

    Culture is mostly get your work done and go home without much non-work interaction, but this could also be a Pro

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  3. 5.0
    Former Freelancer

    Great Experience

    Sep 4, 2020 - Freelance Writer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Interesting work and good compensation. Editors are very helpful.

    Cons

    No cons for me to list here.

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  4. 3.0
    Former Temporary Employee

    Freelance content writer

    May 24, 2020 - Freelance Writer in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible hours; helpful feedback on writing

    Cons

    Each assignment requires a large time investment that the pay doesn't always match

    2 people found this review helpful
  5. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    A wonderful job for editors

    Dec 2, 2018 - Editor in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I worked for LitCharts for a little over a year, first as a freelance writer and then as a full-time editor, before I left for graduate school. I couldn't recommend working for the company more highly. The founders (Ben and Justin) are conscientious and intelligent people. I liked them and I liked working for them. I was compensated quite competitively for my work, which I generally found to be engaging and enjoyable (I was editing summaries and literary analysis). Because everyone at LitCharts works remotely, it's a great workplace for people who value independence and flexibility in a job, provided you have some self-discipline. Finally, I respect the product Ben and Justin are building—I think it blows the competition out of the water in terms of quality—so I also trust in the company's success.

    Cons

    The company is small and almost everything is done over Slack, so it is perhaps not a great place to work for anyone who needs a thriving/lively office culture. Working for LitCharts was, for me, often a very solitary experience. On a different note, I did not feel that there would have been tremendous opportunities for me to advance my career within the company, had I been looking for that. This never bothered me—the job was ideal for the time I held it, knowing that I would eventually be going back to school—but it's something to keep in mind if you care a lot about having a wide range of "career opportunities" within a company.

    5 people found this review helpful
  6. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Great startup with an amazing future

    Jun 22, 2016 - Web Developer in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I've done contract work for about a dozen other companies before working with the people at LitCharts, and they've been by far the best in every category. Ben and Justin co-founded SparkNotes before doing it again (but even better) with LitCharts, and it's clear they resoundingly know how to build and manage a business. Communication on what I need to do is crystal clear, expectations are up-front and reasonable, they're open to input on ideas and implementation, and they have the fastest turnaround for processing invoices I'd ever think possible. Working with their team has been such a ridiculous pleasure and I hope to continue doing so for quite a while.

    Cons

    Nothing really, to my knowledge. I work remotely, the team is small, and there are a few of us scattered around, but there's already a cool sense that this is a great group about to do really interesting things. As long as you're able to manage yourself, are comfortable with remote work, and can communicate clearly, you should be good.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  7. 5.0
    Current Contractor, more than 1 year

    LitCharts Writer

    Aug 30, 2018 - Anonymous Contractor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    LitCharts is a great deal for freelance writers and English/humanities graduates--it's very flexible, it pays well for your time compared to other freelance jobs, and the guides are fun to write. (You often get to choose your texts, so I've chosen books I've wanted to read or that I'm otherwise working on--I'm a grad student--which makes the work feel more enjoyable and productive.) The team has been very accommodating of my schedule and allowed me to set my own deadlines, which is great if you're working on multiple projects or have other commitments.

    Cons

    There is a learning curve at the beginning in terms of figuring out the format, stylistic conventions, particular ways of arguing and thinking about literature, etc. So I definitely spent more time on earlier projects and had more revisions to do. But I found this decreased a lot as I went on--and the editors are really helpful and responsive.

    5 people found this review helpful
  8. 2.0
    Former Contractor

    Writer

    Feb 23, 2018 - Anonymous Contractor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Onboarding process was straightforward; paid quickly; some editors provided helpful feedback and did so quickly.

    Cons

    The way the workload is chunked can drag the process out, and formatting/applying styles extends the time required to get assignments in because of the fiddly visual set-up of their guides. My other clients are flexible about how I organize my writing process, and they take care of formatting/applying styles, a set-up that I much prefer since all I need to do is write and make the final deadline. There is the potential to get paid more for longer guides, but overall, it was not a great experience in terms of time versus pay and the lack of autonomy, one of the main reasons I freelance for a living. There are lots of companies that need this kind of work. My advice is to look elsewhere.

    6 people found this review helpful
  9. 5.0
    Current Contractor

    Freelance Writer

    Mar 20, 2018 - Anonymous Contractor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Very helpful editors and fast turnover for assignments. Writers receive pay several days after an assignment is accepted and posted on the website.

    Cons

    The work is very time-consuming. Be sure that you love writing and, particularly, doing very close analyses of literature.

    2 people found this review helpful
  10. 1.0
    Former Contractor

    Sloppy Entrance Process

    May 18, 2018 - Contract Writer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The content you get to work on is great, and the pay is (probably) decent once you go through the process.

    Cons

    1. Communication is astonishingly bad and unprofessional. There's the normal failing to get back to you in a timely manner problem. Emails (their only line of communication) sometimes took three or more days to return; some of my emails were never answered. This didn't bode well for a new hire. More problematic is the directions given by the editors, and their over-dependence on the Writer's Guide. It's not a document designed to educate writers about what they want as much as a document to protect themselves against having to train their writers. They think it's much clearer and more helpful than it actually is. While it covers the logistical elements of their (overbearing) writing process, it's extremely poor, as was the editor I had, at communicating what they said they wanted. For example, they wanted me to write 'more analytically'; but in the edited copy they sent back to me, the editor's "analysis" didn't even rise to the level of being correct. Sure, it has some argument to it, but so does every freshman composition paper. It was a bad argument that misunderstood the (very) basic concept of the text I was covering. What they meant, if I can make yet another guess, is that they wanted the writer to bounce back and forth between an event or character to a theme. Obviously, this isn't analytical in any meaningful sense. It's just structurally attractive to someone who takes their English degree too seriously. 2. Terrible training: if you're willing to take a risk, as I was, on not getting further assignments after a first round of strenuous assignments, go for it. But know that the process of writing for a short story is basically identical in length to the process in writing for a novel. It's a rip-off, considering you get paid about 1/10 of what you would for a novel. The only difference would be having to read, say, 100 pages--which takes no more than 5 hours. Also, be leery of editors whose default first act is to call some of your work "juvenile". I'm a big boy, and it didn't hurt my feelings. But as a professional contract writer and editor for nearly 10 years, this was a shocker. How do they/do they even retain people if this is the introduction? People who don't know the basics of professional editing courtesy (even if, for the sake of argument, my work was juvenile) don't know what they're doing. It lends itself to getting a bad review on Glassdoor.

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    7 people found this review helpful
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